A Travellerspoint blog

July 2012


sunny 42 °C

Hello readers one last time (booo hoooo :-)))),

Well, I'm not going to summarise every event and detail and how it made us feel because anyone who has travelled out of the same bag for as long as this and met the people we have along the way, and counted Rupees, KIP, Dong, Dollars, Bahts, Ringgit, Quetzals etc in the way that we have to eat, sleep, enjoy & escape will know that this would be impossible. It's all part of the joys and trials of travelling.

Every country we visited gave us something...even if that something was not to our taste, unenjoyable, shocking or sad...it gave us memories and tiny, tiny moments that, partly with the help of this blog, will give us memories to live on with tea and biscuits when we're old.

Most people have asked us what our favourite country is...this is impossible to answer because India was probably my favourite in terms of stimulating the senses (and the guts) for something completely utterly different, as well as an education in a religious and cultural perspective (the Caste system) that runs so deep and creates the rich/poor divide that will forever be. But let's be honest, we barely enjoyed it. For that reason alone, I would recommend everyone to try it...as backpackers of course!

Mexico, Hong Kong, Laos and Thailand are highlights for us to kind of answer that question. But it's the experience of getting to each place, travelling around, not knowing if in the morning you are taking a bus to El Salvador or a boat to Colombia....not knowing until a day before that you'll be flying back to London...and having the freedom to just bail out of Mumbai when you've run out of Immodium.

It's also the experience of who you are travelling with. Ross and I could have taken the same route, seen the same places and done similar things with other people and had a completely different experience. Then again, he and I could repeat it all and still have a different take on everything. I feel very lucky to have fulfilled one of my life goals with him...we have spent a total of 242 days and nights together continually, which is far from our natural routine, coupled with the constant decision making, navigating, organising and protecting that goes on. I think that is pretty damn special and a good start to our married lives together.

We have not cured our wonderlust....it's now worse! We already know the next two destinations we want to visit, and there is still the small matter of Colombia and Bolivia (those salt plains are still calling for me to drive and spin across them, top gear style!). But we know we never, ever want to stay in another hostal again!

A big part of our travels has been this blog. We started it so that we would have a momento of our experiences and also to keep our nearest and dearest aware of our rough location to stop them clucking! We never realised just how much you would all enjoy the blog and in some cases you have said that it has been inspiring. That has really been incredible to hear and on days when we are really shattered, flea bitten (literally) and overwhelmed from the days events and sights, the comments encouraged us to keep going with it, we didn't want to let you down.

A quick note on Spain...a beautiful country it still is with some of the most preserved, small Adulucian white villages you could imagine. We spent some wonderful days in Seville with my Mum who joined us for just under a week, lots of laughs, red wine, delicious tapas and a chance to practise our Spanish which has really improved in the last three months....she was impressed!! The last two weeks we have treated as a holiday...I'm sure you'll all laugh at this, but we really felt we needed it after the travels!!!

One last word: Anyone can see part of the world, at any age, in any way they choose fit, depending on their circumstances & budget....whether it's for a month, 6 months or 3 years. We saw people with kids backpacking, we met golden oldies in hostals and everything in between. We met people horseriding, quadbiking and cycling from Canada to Patagonia alone. We are both skint but I feel incredibly rich from the experience and we both know we'll be back to the grind in one way or another on our return. For anyone with an inclin to do this, the only thing I'll recommend is not to put a barrier in the way. You won't regret it, I promise! And we have a tent if anyone wants it, as Ross and I don't do camping anymore!

Failing that, it's 46 degrees at 19.30 in the evenings in Seville at the moment if you're craving some sun!

Thank you all for reading and writing to us, it's been absolutely brilliant, and Thank you World!

I will leave Ross to add the photo's over the next few days, as there are plenty more to come.

Much love,

Ross & Charlie

Posted by charlieandross 03:48 Archived in Spain Comments (2)

Costa to Costa

sunny 38 °C

Our travels since the Pyrenees have taken us along the coast from Tarragona all the way down to Granada - where we currently reside. We have covered about 1800km so far and, as we have previously discovered during our earlier road trips, have managed to see so much more of the remote parts of the land by driving the miles ourselves.

Tarragona, the first port of call after our Pyrenees adventure was somewhat odd. Nestled about 60km South of Barcelona the town is centered on the walled old city, the rather impressive cathedral, and Roman amphitheatre. Narrow cobbled streets, charming buildings and the obligatory town square give the old town a cosy feel. Outside of the old city walls though, the town is very much an over developed industrial monster. A thriving cargo port, coupled with recently constructed 'seafood sauce' colored living accommodation really gave us a stark contrast to the old part of the city. The small beach nestled to the left of the port was also rather unattractive and uninspiring. After a couple of nights we decided to head further South along the coast.

A full days driving took us to Cabo De Gata in Andalucia where we were keen to see the stunning beaches that we had read so much about. I was also curious to see the baron spaghetti western landscapes in the region - these were used as the backdrop for most of Clint Eastwoods famous films in the 1960s. Unfortunately though the rather uncomfortable campsite and lengthy trek that was required to get to the better coves and beaches through the surrounding swampland scuppered our plans a little.

So again we decided to drive for the whole day - hugging the coast we continued to drive through a multitude of towns, cities and villages. Many of the smaller tourist resorts were eerily quiet and had an abundance of property for sale. The stark reality of the financial crisis that this country is in is clear to see and it really is very sad. The early signs of future ghost towns in the making is all the evidence you need, as a non-Spaniard, to get a jist of where this country it at and also where it is heading.

Granada was the next destination on the trip and a city that Charlie had been longing to visit for some time. The magnificent Alhambra Palace, was the focus of the mini city break and it took us a good day to explore the immaculately manicured lawns, tranquil inner courtyards and the actual citadel itself. The panoramic external views from pretty much anywhere within the Alhambra are breathtaking. The surrounding countryside and the multitude of white wash villages create picture-postcard scenery that is as beautiful as it is tranquil. We have enjoyed the majority of the Granada province, it's villages, as well as the City itself.

We actually meet Lee (Charlie's Mum) tonight before heading together onto Seville - where Charlie will give you our next update.

Ross and Charlie

Posted by charlieandross 03:48 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

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